News State Queensland McCulkin killers sentenced to life in jail for triple homicide

McCulkin killers sentenced to life in jail for triple homicide

McCulkin Dubois O'Dempsey sentenced to life
Barbara McCulkin and her daughters Leanne (L) and Vicki (R). Photo: Queensland Police Service
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Vincent O’Dempsey and Garry Dubois have been sentenced to life in prison for killing Queensland mother Barbara McCulkin and her two daughters Vicki, 13, and Leanne, 11, in January 1974.

O’Dempsey was last Friday convicted by a Brisbane Supreme Court jury of three counts of murder.

He and Dubois took Mrs McCulkin, 34, and sisters Vicki, 13, and Leanne, 11, from their Highgate Hill home on the night of January 16, 1974 before killing them in bushland near Warwick.

O’Dempsey, now aged 78, broke his silence about the heinous murders on Thursday, claiming he was “completely innocent” of the charges.

“I have never had the slightest reason to harm the three McCulkins in any way, nor did my co-accused,” O’Dempsey said from the dock.

Dubois was found guilty in November 2016 of raping and murdering the children as well as Mrs McCulkin’s manslaughter.

The 70-year-old also sought to address the court but Justice Peter Applegarth denied the request, saying Dubois could file an amended appeal if he wanted to give new evidence.

He was later escorted from the courtroom after a brief outburst.

“I’ve never spoken to police, that’s the truth,” Dubois said.

“You had your chance at trial, now shut up,” Justice Applegarth said.

Justice Applegarth said he found O’Dempsey’s protest of innocence “completely unconvincing” and confirmed he had a “complete absence of remorse”.

“The last hours of the lives of these three defenceless women must have been terrifying,” he said.

“(Dubois) like a coward did what you were told and raped the other girl.

“(O’Dempsey) you are beyond redemption.”

Justice Applegarth said he expected both men to die in jail.

In a victim impact statement to the court, Mrs McCulkin’s brother Graham Ogden said he hoped the family’s bodies could be located.

“It is my fervent wish that, someday, the remains of our loved ones will be found so that we can finally lay them to rest,” the statement said.

Mr Ogden said O’Dempsey and Dubois had made their choices and had all the benefits of a long life.

“These things have been brutally denied to my sister and nieces. They should be with us still, leading rich and vibrant lives,” he said.